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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 16, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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so, decent wet weather coming our way. great christmas weather. thanks for joining us here at 5:00. lester holt joins us next with nightly news. >> good night, folks, see you back here at 6:00. tonight, a hung jury in baltimore. calls for calm in a city ravaged by violence as the first officer charged in the death of freddie gray walks free in a mistrial. the cost of borrowing more expensive as the fed hikes interest rates for the first time in years. what it means for your mortgage, car loans and credit cards. >> flying high. we're all access with marco rubio after the fiery debate exchanges with ted cruz. and donald trump, and who he is taking aim at today. no surgery needed. a game-changer in the way we treat kids with appendicit appendicitis. what doctors say might work just as well for
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many. and inside of los alamos. the hidden chamber now being used in the war on cancer. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. there are calls for calm as protesters gather in baltimore, hours after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a police officer in a case that triggered riots throughout the city in april. it was the first of six police officers charged in connection with the death of freddie gray who died while in police custody. late today the judge declared a mistrial in the case of officer william porter who was accused of manslaughter and now it's up too the state's attorney to decide whether to retry him. nbc's ron mott with late details. >> as word of a mistrial spread, cries of protest and scuffles. a jury of seven blacks and five whites failing to reach a verdict in the case of william porter,
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charged with manslaughter in the death of freddie gray. tonight his family and supporters remain hopeful justice will be served. >> this is just a temporary bump on the road to justice. >> we are calm. you should be calm too. >> reporter: the state argued porter showed indifference to gray's well being while not securing him in a seat belt following his arrest last april in a van and not getting him medical help. the jury deadlocked, on all four counts porter faced, including second-degree assault and reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. gray suffered a broken neck and died a week later. touching off more than a week of fiery riots, the worst violence in the city in decades. this admitted gang member sought to squelch today hours before the mistrial announcement. >> you are mad and angry and want to tear stuff up. i understand. but that is not the right way to go. >> is it worth retrying him? >> i would like to know the divide in the jury. >> reporter: legal
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analysts contend the mistrial could make upcoming cases against five other police officers including the van driver charged with second-degree murder even more challenging for prosecutors. >> this was one of the easier cases to defend because he was not one of the principals that placed freddie gray in the situation he was in. >> reporter: and tonight city officials also called for calm. >> all of us, if we believe in justice, must have respect for the outcome of the judicial process. >> reporter: the family of freddie gray had already reached a $6.4 million settlement with the city, a city bracing for what could be a long night of demonstrations. the second trial set to start next month and the defendant is the officer who drove that van. >> ron mott, thanks. big news about the economy tonight and it affects everything from your mortgage to your 401(k). for the first time in nearly a decade, the federal reserve raised interest rates a
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quarter point. it is a major sign the economy is improving. on wall street stocks finished up across the board. but after years of the cost to borrow money being virtually nothing, it is getting more expensive. our business correspondent olivia sterns explains. >> reporter: like so many families, the hepners new this day would come and when they found their dream home, they acted fast. >> our feeling is that if interest rates go up and you are paying more per month on your mortgage that is less of a house you could buy. >> reporter: and today, a week after they moved in, the federal reserve voted unanimously to raise the interest rate effective immediately. >> it reflects the committee's confidence that the economy will continue to strengthen. >> reporter: the increase will affect rates on everything from credit cards to 401(k)s, mortgages and car loans. the hike is just a quarter of one percent, but the fed is expected to raise
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rates gradually. >> the impact of one rate hike is almost consequential, but it mounts over time. so if we get down the road over 12 months and they hike the interest rates a few more times, that is when you notice. >> for a family looking to take out a $300,000 mortgage, the quarter percent rate hike could mean paying additional $530 per year. if the fed raises a rate a quarter% twice more, that payment could jump by nearly $1,600 a year. but a rate hike isn't all bad news for your wallet. it helps encourage saving, may lead to more income for retirees and a stronger dollar is good for americans traveling abroad. despite the hike, rates are still near all-time lows. and americans still looking for their dream home still have time to buy. >> and lester, the focus is on how fast the rates go up the next 12 to 18 months, the fed said the rates will go up gradually and only if the economy continues to
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improve. the last thing they want to do is raise them too fast and knock the recovery off course. >> olivia, thank you. and last night's republican presidential debate was one of the fiercest so far. senator marco rubio had one of the most talked about performances of the debate. and today hallie jackson traveled exclusively with him, and donald trump came out swinging. >> donald trump sticking the landing on a victory lap, like he is the nominee, a day after promising if he is not, he won't run as an independent. >> i'm totally committed to the republican party. i feel honored to be the front-runner. >> reporter: the donald trump battle everyone expected with ted cruz never materialized. but one with jeb bush did. >> you will never be president of the united states by -- insulting your way to the presidency. >> i'm at 42, you're at 3. >> last night i have jeb come at me. low energy. >> and in another corner, cruz versus rubio hammering over national security and immigration.
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>> the ted cruz rule out ever legalizing people in this country illegally now. >> senator cruz? >> i will -- i have never supported legalization and i do not intend to support it. >> cruz counter punch aimed at the pathway to citizenship, part of the immigration reform he tried to pass in 2013. now a liability. >> do you regret having been a part of that process? >> no. i went to washington to solve problems. >> so why raise it now? >> you can't do it on one piece of legislation. i do not believe it is good for america to have millions of people permanently living here that could never become americans. >> our interview part of a fast-moving day on the campaign trail. >> in new hampshire and in iowa. >> do you always have the des moines register on the plane. >> no. only when we are here. we're happy about the headline today. >> reporter: the lead story, in a state where he campaigned less than ted cruz. >> i'm motivated by
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reaching out to people. that's who i am and where i come from. i don't think everything is like the last five weeks. >> i feel very confident and optimistic about it. >> reporter: and while rubio still trailed his republican rival in iowa, both sit behind the front-runner nationally. in this republican race, there is donald trump and then everyone else. >> just like trump. >> just like trump. it is a little smaller. >> i know. >> reporter: nationally, nobody's poll numbers in the race are just like donald trump. but across the early states cruz and rubio have become part of the top tier. those three candidates have the momentum before last night's debate and they still have it heading into the holiday break. lester. >> hallie jackson, thanks. in southern california, back to normal after hundreds of los angeles schools reopened after the hoax in the second largest school district. crisis counselors were on hand for kids who wanted to talk about what happened. the fbi is still trying to determine who was behind the threats.
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there are new revelations in the investigation of the terrorist attack in san bernardino. what the fbi is now saying about reports the female killer posted jihadist messages on social media that weren't caught during a background check to earn her visa to the u.s. our justice correspondent pete williams on the trail of terror. >> it is an urgent question. why did the government give tashfeen malik a u.s. visa to enter the u.s. if she had been posting pro-jihadist messages before she got here. simple, said the fbi director, she never did post messages back then. she sent only e-mails and direct private communications to her fiance in the u.s., syed farook. >> so far in the investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period of time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or martyrdom. >> reporter: around
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the time of the shooting, malik did post a pledge of support for isis on a facebook timeline. comey said the fbi has found no indication that the couple was in direct contact with any foreign terror organization before the shooting or part of a cell. still unanswered, he said, what else were they planning. also today, the secretary of homeland security said he will begin issuing periodic bulletins to describe the changing nature of the terrorist threat nationwide. without raising the overall threat level as the old system did or waiting for specific threats. >> we want to put in one place for the public to see what we are seeing concerning the homeland and what we are doing about it and what the public can do about it. >> reporter: the first such bulletin on the dhs website today describing the general threat of self-radicalized extremists who could strike with little or no notice. future bulletins may advise more screening lines at public events like the super bowl or
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at the airport when security is ramped up. >> and tonight the white house said the president will meet with shooting victims and family members in san bernardino on friday. he will then head on to hawaii with his family for the holidays. >> pete, thanks. a new study out today could change the way doctors treat an all too common health emergency. for decades the go-to treatment for appendicitis is surgery. but now as rehema ellis explains, doctors are exploring a new option for children that may eliminate the trip to the operating room. >> today this 12-year-old remembers the painful appendicitis that nearly ruined her family's trip to disney world. >> it was kind of like somebody was stabbing me over and over again every time i would move. >> she had never been sick like this before so i was very afraid for her safety. >> reporter: but instead of surgery, she was treated with antibiotics. being the first study
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on using them for early and mild cases of appendicitis in children. >> she was able to go home a day or two later. >> reporter: the small study found with antibiotics alone, 95% of the children improved within 24 hours and were discharged without undergoing surgery. a recent study in europe showed similar success for adults resulting in less recovery time and lower health costs. the classic symptoms of appendicitis include pain around the naval, moving to the right side. also nausea and fever. the new study found one in four young patient cases were mild enough to avoid surgery. >> in order to meet that criteria, you have to have pain for less than two days an the inflammation has to be contained within the appendix. so there is no sign it is about to rupture or has ruptured. >> reporter: and for most it didn't flare-up again. >> they didn't say you must have surgery or you must have
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antibiotics. we were able to choose and that was a wonderful thing for us. >> reporter: a choice that worked for the gibsons who made it to disney world and she has been symptom-free for two years. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. still ahead, tonight exclusive access inside of the top secret los alamos nuclear lab where the technology behind the most destructive weapons known to man is being used instead to save lives from cancer.
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we're back now
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with an nbc news exclusive. rare access into the los alamos nuclear facility. it will be known as one of the birthplaces of the atomic bomb and also being used to develop a very different kind of weapon. one that puts los alamos on the cutting-edge in the battle against cancer. nbc's janet shamlian has more on our special series of reports, target cancer: changing the cure. >> reporter: tucked away in the mountains of new mexico. los alamos, a top secret nuclear weapons lab. today at the forefront of ground-breaking research that could change the fight against cancer. nbc news obtained exclusive access to the highly-secured compound. where eva burnbalm showed us how they are manufacturing a radioactive treatment that targeted tumors but doesn't kill the healthy tissue around them. >> this glass window
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is several different panes of leaded glass about three feet thick to offer us protection from the radioactivity. >> the material so toxic, scientists use robotic arms to work with them. >> so that piece that has to be lifted up and placed on top of the other piece, just like that. very good. >> reporter: here is how it works. a metallic disk is blasted with a proton beam, making a cloud of radioactive particles partnered with a protein to make actinium 225. think of it as a laser guided missile injected into the body and traveling directly to cancer cells. >> in terms of breakthroughs in cancer treatment in the past couple of decades, how important is this? >> i think this is tremendous. if we could get the pieces to work together, this should be a very effective way to treat cancer in the future. >> this doctor tested the therapy on leukemia patients in a
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clinical trial. some went into remission. >> this is a more focused radiation and more precise and allowed sufficient killing of the targeted cell alone. >> reporter: doctors hope this massive equipment at los alamos will boost production and help patients with many cancers. >> i think we'll see faster progress and see this going global. >> reporter: nuclear technology once used for destruction now focused on saving lives. janet shamlian, nbc news, los alamos, new mexico. tomorrow in our series, the quick freeze therapy being used to prevent the fastest growing forms of cancer in america. when we come back, are medical choppers used too often? serious safety questions tonight after yet another one went down in phoenix. thousands of people
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came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time. i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges a big scare on the runway in nashville. eight people injured when a southwest jet that just landed from houston skidded off a
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taxiway as it was approaching the gate. it ended up in a ditch. 133 passengers and five crew members evacuated the jet. the faa is trying to figure out what went wrong. and federal crash investigators are looking into the cause of a medivac helicopter crash outside of phoenix overnight that claimed the lives of two crew members. the second deadly crash involving an air ambulance in a week, raising concerns yet again about this growing industry. 1,500 me devac choppers transport 400,000 patients each year. here is tom costello. >> reporter: the crash scene in arizona, rugged and snow-covered. the ems chopper crash killed a pilot and flight nurse. the second crash in five days. in california last week four died. nationwide since 2004 there have been 46 fatal crashes killed 128 people. >> our industry's sole
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purpose is saving lives and not losing them and no one is more invested in safety than the air crew members and the clinicians that climb into a medical aircraft every day. >> reporter: last year the faa issued new orders, stricter flight rules for helicopter operators, improved communications, training and onboard safety equipment. but the faa didn't order the night vision goggles or auto pilot systems that the ntsb still wants. nationwide 7% are government owned. by counties, cities or state. the vast majority are owned by companies, many competing for business. >> and while they save thousands of lives every year, many emergency medical professions argue that the vast majority of patients aren't critical enough to be airlifted. >> we look at flights where had the patient simply been transported in the ground ambulance instead of waiting on a helicopter, they would have gotten to a hospital quicker. >> reporter: med evac said many volunteers have added night avoidance and goggles but this system designed to save lives
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is once again under scrutiny. tom costello, nbc news, fairfax, virginia. we're back in a moment with a touching reunion between a man and his dog. they are not just best friends but also partners from the battlefield. ===raj/take vo=== next at 6:
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the reason this information was kept secret from the public. ===jess/take on cam=== and why a high school water polo player could be in trouble with the law after what happened during a game. ===next close=== the news is next. ==jess//take vo== right now at six.
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finally tonight, the search of a lifetime when a marine returned from afghanistan. he discovered a new struggle here at home with ptsd. and so began his journey to reunite with his partner from the battlefield. here is gabe guiterrez. >> for lance corporal david pond the wait was longer than the war. >> people have this perception that it is 30-year-old men that fight wars and it is not. it is 19-year-old kids. >> reporter: in afghanistan his mission was dangerous, searching for roadside bombs with his partner. a belgian dog named pablo. >> most people would run away from explosives. >> yeah. >> you guys ran toward them. >> pretty much. >> so you had a bond. >> we did. it was love at first sight. >> he trusted pablo with his life. one mistake, one
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mis-scent could be catastrophic. >> he was my rock. he was my foundation. all i knew was how to be deployed with this dog. but when pond returned home, he found a different battle. ptsd. >> when i processed everything, i broke. so -- >> how much diyou miss pablo? >> every day. >> he needed his old friend more than ever. pablo is now working at a marine base in georgia. so his former handler started a new mission to adopt him and to help make his case, collecting more than 187,000 signatures in an online petition. >> you are truly man's best friend. mission complete, marine. >> reporter: on this day, david pond's long wait is over. his partner officially retired and reunited. >> i don't have kids but it is my son. it is the closest thing to a son i have. >> reporter: mission accomplished. gabe guiterrez, nbc
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news, albany, georgia. and that will do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. a south bay jail holding international terror suspect. his arrest was never reported publicly -- until now. right now at 6:00, a south bay jail holding an international terror suspect. his arrest never reported publicly until tonight. so, the question is why was it kept a secret? >> a suspected terrorist in our own backyard. earlier this year, that man was on the run but ultimately he was caught and arrested in santa clara county. tonight, we expose the story.
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robe robert, why the secrecy here? >> reporter: as you can imagine, it is a very delicate, sensitive situation, one that the sheriff's department is still reluctant to talk about. we only found out during our research on the santa clara county jail and he was held for more than a month. but they say there was good reason to keep it all quiet. the criminal case against this man and five other defends has not been a secret. they report on a federal indictment in february accusing the group to supplying money and equipment to groups, including islamic states and what's not known is just before the indictment, he fled the midwest and chased to santa clara county where federal officers captured him. >> it's unkwlulusual for us to that level of an inmate come nothing to custody. >> reporter: they declined to

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